Preserving flowers well past their blooming date is a tricky business. Sometimes, you can get it right with minimal effort and sometimes no matter what you do, all your preservation efforts are in vain. When it comes to preservative substances, used to artificially prolong a flower's looking-good period, substances range from the most absurd (copper coins) to the very practical but exclusive (silica gel). One such substance is hairspray. This spray is used to keep one's hair in place. But, it can be used for preserving flowers as well. Hairspray as a preservative, works best on robust full blooms like roses, with heavy petals and a more open blooming style. It will also work with smaller blooms, which have a better shelf-life, like lavender.
In order to correctly preserve fresh flowers with hairspray, the flowers need to be cut at the right time and in the right way. If you are trying to preserve cut flowers, which are arranged in a bouquet, skip ahead to "how to preserve flowers" section.
Cut Flowers in the Morning:
Cut blooms in the middle of the morning before late afternoon.
Preserving Flowers With Hairspray
- Find a nice dark but dry location, like a closet to hang your flowers undisturbed.
- Tie the ends of the flower stems together using some twine or dental floss.
- Then tie the end of the string to a hanger or a nail to hang the flowers upside down.
- You can even tie each flower or two flower stems together with a string and tie them to the hanger, to dry the flowers individually.
- Leave the flowers to hang-dry for 2-3 weeks. When they have turned completely dry, remove them from the hangers.
- You can arrange the flowers into a bouquet but do not place the flowers in a vase just yet.
- Use a can of ordinary aerosol hairspray.
- Stand a little away, at least 6-8 inches, from the bouquet and spray the flowers.
- Make sure each flower's petals and stems get fogged with hairspray evenly.
- Let the hairspray dry on the bouquet for 10 minutes. During the day, you can spray the bouquet 2 or 3 times again to touch up.
- You can spray the flowers once every few days to preserve them.
Preserving Flowers With Hairspray and Silica Gel
- You will need silica gel and a deep container for this preservation.
- Spread the flowers individually in the container, with some distance between the flowers.
- Pour the silica over the flowers and fill the container at least an inch high.
- Cover the flowers and their petals well with silica gel.
- Cover the container and leave it undisturbed for 4-5 days.
- When the flowers have turned stiff and dry, you can take them out and tie them into a bunch or arrange them into a bouquet.
- Then spray the flowers with hairspray.
When spraying the flowers, cover the surrounding area with newspaper, so the spray does not affect anything around. Do not spray flowers in a vase, as flowers will stick to the vase with the spray. Sprayed flowers will last for at least 1-2 months, if kept out of humid or brightly-lit rooms. The longevity of the preserved flowers also depends on the type of flower.